Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Intelligent E-Marketing Campaigns

E-mail marketing is definitely becoming the darling of all of the direct marketing channels. In the past, it was looked at with skepticism -- and e-marketers were oftentimes branded as spammers. We're happy to say that the world has finally caught up!

Many of us want to be contacted by e-mail. It's just easier than talking to someone or even opening up a piece of mail. Spam definitely is still an issue but most folks have either implemented excellent spam filters or are getting good at going through and getting rid of spam manually. All in all, when I get an e-marketing message that is relevant to me, I'm happy to read it -- and very likely to respond.

Case in point, last week K&L Wine Merchants sent me an e-marketing message regarding two great wine selections that they were featuring on sale. As an avid red wine drinker (ever wonder what RRW stands for--think UB40), both were big reds -- a Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Red and a Sterling Vineyards Cabernet. The price point was excellent -- so I ordered a half-case of each. The online shopping experience was excellent and I even got the chance to fill out a survey on my observations.

Apparently, K&L is very aware of the value of e-marketing. In fact, they've even taken steps to upgrade their e-marketing platform recently. According to DM News, "Online wine retailer K&L Wine Merchants has tapped e-mail marketing services firm StrongMail Systems Inc. in a move to increase its white listing and more easily manage its program." Apparently, their in-house system was harder to manage and resulted in a lot of blacklisting. This new solution will help with both of these problems. In addition, according to the article, it will help with campaign management and provides some robust reporting tools.

Brian Zucker, CTO and co-owner of K&L, wants to ensure that his customers receive offers that are relevant to their tastes (based upon previous orders) and that they always have the inventory on hand when the customer orders. Zucker states: “We always have to determine how many e-mails to send, because our products are not limitless,” Zucker added. “We have a new wine with only 500 cases made and so we have to determine who would probably respond to this wine and not oversend e-mails.”

Once again, this is music to our ears . . . sending relevant messages via the direct marketing channel that customers prefer, and ensuring that there's enough red, red wine to go around!



Ted Grigg said...

Another testimony to the power of email marketing is the high adoption rates of online fundraising.

Fundraisers are demanding more from their agencies in helping them raise more dollars through online as an adjunct to their direct mail efforts.


Nancy Arter said...

Hi Ted, I wholeheartedly agree. I volunteer for a non-profit here in my community (Pediatric Therapy Network). They have recently hired in a marketing professional that really gets this point and we've been working together to establish online marketing strategy.

Social media has also gotten involved in this. Did you know that non-profits can place their videos on YouTube, complete with Google check out cart to collect donations?

An online strategy has become so much more important for all businesses, that is for certain!

Thanks so much for your comment!

neo phyte said...

E-Marketing is really coming on age with the advances in marketing analytics, so much so that predictive analysis of customer behavior is now leading to a paradigm shift in the manner in which marketers choose to spend their budgeted resources.

Instead of trying blindly to increase customer base by shooting off emails, they are focusing on loyalty management wherein existing customer base is being strengthened.

SaaS providers are aware of this and the suites offered contain exhaustive e-commerce functionalities.

Nancy Arter said...

Hi Neo Phyte, Great comment! And I agree -- utilizing an analytical apppoach with e-marketing is definitely intelligent direct marketing at its best.

Thanks for your comment!